WBS

Untitled, originally uploaded by Matt Niebuhr.

“… to fill the house with a whisper.”

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BP – plan “C”

untitled, (pipe, #1) 2010_03_04 charcoal on paper 30" x 43 1/2" by Matt Niebuhr

untitled, (pipe, #1)
2010_03_04
charcoal on paper
30″ x 43 1/2″
Matt Niebuhr

The oil spill continues this Memorial Day, 2010.  The plan of stopping the flow or “top-kill” of the out of control oil well in the Gulf has failed…

On to plan “C”.

Here’s to the hope that the cap / sleeve and new pipe to does the trick. (The drawing I made above,  made before any of this happened, takes on new meaning for me given the context of current events.)

There must be a public demand to ensure that we learn as much as we can from this event – and put that into service on existing and new wells…

Reminder: “All art is quite useless.”

Preface

Oscar Wilde

All art is at once surface and symbol.

Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.

The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it
intensely.

All art is quite useless.

Worthwhile reading…

Currently reading (and enjoying) :

Why Photography Matters as Art as Never BeforeMichael Fried

The Daily Practice of PaintingGerhard Richter

I am finding that each book is particularly worthwhile reading. Of course, reading about other’s works – whether crafted by the artist or an other observer always carries certain risks of an inescapable interpretation.  Thankfully, I’m finding these two readings above, a useful way to engage looking at photography albeit from a particular circumstance or point of view – a context let’s say.  However, I’m finding new appreciation for the work of Jeff Wall who I’ve naively (in the best sense) admired before reading about his work through Fried’s interpretations…. I admittedly lacking an express “understanding” or “reading” as presented … but now with (perhaps) new (or maybe just better articulation) and further insight into the work. Either way,  I’m happy to note that I continue to admire both (Wall and Richter)…

Near the edge of the sky

Near the edge of the sky
Near the edge
Matt Niebuhr
2006

I just finished reading “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” – from the chronicles of Narnia…(with my kids). Upon reaching “the end of the world” – Asland pulled back the sky to let Lucy and Edmond return to “our world”… for they had completed their journey and were prepared for the next in our own world – never to return to Narnia….

The Sky Pesher (pictured above) (James Turrell) feels a bit like that for me – like I may just be able to peel back the sky – It is a wonderfully quiet experience.

Below is an excerpt from -an Interview with James Turrell by Richard Whittaker

JT: I make spaces that apprehend light for our perception, and in some way gather it, or seem to hold it. So in that way it’s a little bit like Plato’s cave. We sit in the cave with our backs to reality, looking at the reflection of reality on the cave wall. As an analogy to how we perceive, and the imperfections of perception, I think this is very interesting.

And there is the making of Plato’s cave literally-at New Grange in Ireland, or Abu Sembal where you don’t have a pointing sculpture like Stonehenge. Instead you have an architectural space that is arranged to accept an event in light on the horizon. When that event in light occurs on the horizon there is an event in light, inside that space.

This then became the camera obscura, which appeared in many European towns. They would have these, and eventually even created panoramas and dioramas. The “camera lucida” and the “camera obscura” were what artists used to actually make this Western painting space.

We made this eye that sees for us, like the camera, and this is very much a part of how we organized our culture. Of course it became this holder of truth. I mean in a court of law you take a photograph, and you can use it as evidence. But, if you think about it, there are many factors: first of all, where you point the camera, and whether you choose a lens that’s a telephoto, which flattens the space, and sees through the distance, or a wide angle that sees a much wider area than we see. Then there is the setting of the aperture. All may be in focus, or just a part with the rest out of focus. Do you choose to put in a film that represents light from the sun as white, tungsten light as white, or fluorescent light as white; or do you use color, or infrared? Then, of course, you get this photo that you can change in development, and crop. Then you can present this photo as “proof of reality,” when every step of the way you’ve created the reality.

This idea of how we create our reality through this, and in ways that we’re not necessarily aware of, is very important. It contributes to this prejudiced perception that we have. And though learning to represent three dimensions in two, has been a great help to our culture in planning and modeling and all that, there are some losses that are interesting.

There is that experiment where a window is made to appear in perspective, so it looks like a trapezoid, and then it’s put on a stick against a very flat background- evenly illuminated, and a few feet away- and then it’s rotated. We can’t tell whether it’s going back and forth, or whether it’s going fully around. Our guessing is less than fifty percent correct. But then, for this experiment, so-called primitive people, both in New Guinea and in Africa, were tested, and they were unable to see the illusion. They were only able to see what was actually happening. When it was spinning, they saw it as spinning, and when it was going back and forth, that’s what they saw.

So certain ways of organizing information can cause some loss. Learning is one path, one way, and we have learned one way, but this also creates a prejudiced perception that we’re not totally aware of.

More to think about with windows are for light….

A leaf and its Shadow

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel
Lens: Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 (kit)
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 33 mm
ISO Speed: 100
December 12, 2004

I pulled up a series of leaf / shadow studies I started on now nearly a year ago and decided to develop a few more of the RAW files. This is one that catches my eye as a nice balance between the leaf form and its shadow. I developed it as a “desaturated” color image in DxO and I am fairly happy with it…

Future Lofts…

light at night

Noticed this the other night on the way home… Construction at night – with all the noise and light bleeding out of the building… skin torn off to reveal the bones! I wonder if it will be this interesting when completed…

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